The winners and honorable mentions in this year's PR news Platinum PR awards issue exemplify the most innovative approaches to redefining traditional PR with anything-but- traditional strategies. From a marketing communications effort that united a country over the search for the stars of a 1950s TV commercial to an event that landed a flock of pink flamingos around the windy city, the following winner confirms that the PR profession has indeed stepped out from the shadows to take a front-and-center role in delivering business results to their own organizations, and to their clients. Below is the winner of the 2008 PR News Platinum PR award for external publications.
Latham & Watkins
2007 Pro Bono Annual Review
One of the largest providers of free legal services in the world, Latham & Watkins wanted its 2007 Pro Bono Annual Review (whose theme was "Defining Quality") to provide a balanced overview of the firm's program, while engaging the reader visually and with compelling content.
The PR execs jump-started efforts by assembling a team that concentrated on content, overall strategy, writing and design. The firm's pro bono counsel was an important link to information, and the voices of attorneys, clients and pro bono partners were interspersed throughout the report.
"Our challenge was to not let the scope of the subject matter overwhelm the homegrown nature of pro bono work," says Mark Goldberg, internal communications manager at Latham & Watkins. "We had to do this while matching the design, theme and professional tone of our firm's annual report, which is a more corporate-looking sister publication."
Divide and Conquer
Featuring an inspirational message from the firm's chairman, the report was divided into three areas--"demonstrating achievement," which focused on a review of the past year; "demonstrating community," which included an office-by-office breakdown of pro bono highlights; and "demonstrating vision," which looked ahead, focusing on efforts to foster the next generation of public interest attorneys.
A Valuable Asset
The publication has become a source of pride for staff and an achievement that Latham & Watkins shares with its community. Immediately after the publication's release, the firm's attorneys requested that copies be sent to a total of well over 5,000 clients and contacts around the world. Also, within the same time frame, the recruitment office has sent it to hundreds of law students and other prospective candidates.